Having inverted nipples can make it appear as if you have a depression or hole where the nipple generally is.
Having inverted nipples can often negatively impact your body image, causing low self-esteem and confidence. It is a problem that can affect both women and men. It can even cause functional problems, including causing difficulties with breastfeeding.
Fortunately, this is something that can be remedied with inverted nipple correction.
AT A GLANCE
Anaesthesia type: Local
Procedure time: 1-2 hours
Recovery time: 1 week
Inverted nipple correction is an effective way to boost your self-esteem and confidence and make your nipples appear more aesthetically pleasing.
Nipple inversion is caused by milk ducts which have been shortened and are then pulling on the nipple, causing an inversion.
There are numerous different stages of nipple inversion – 1, 2 and 3. So how can you tell what stage you are?
- Stage 1: you will have either flat or slightly inverted nipples. This stage may not necessarily require surgery. Often the nipples will become everted as a result of touch or cold stimulation. However, those that are wanting a permanent solution may opt for surgery.
- Stage 2: this is more inverted than grade 1. Similarly to grade 1, the nipples may respond to touch or cold stimulation. However, unlike stage 1, the nipples will not stay everted for an extended period of time. At this stage, the nipples may immediately evert again.
- Stage 3: this is the most severe stage of inversion. At this stage, the nipples will generally not evert, even when stimulated. This can cause further issues, including causing women to be unable to breastfeed.
Are there any risks with inverted nipple surgery?
As this is a surgical procedure, there are chances that rare risks may occur. These include:
- Noticeable scars
- Asymmetry in nipple size
- Breast numbness
- Nipple sensitivity
The nipple may become inverted again, which will then require a second procedure.
All patients should be in good health and have realistic expectations about what can be achieved with inverted nipple correction.
We do not treat patients below the age of 18 years of age.
Healing is better if patients refrain from or quit smoking. If you are currently smoking, you will need to stop at least two weeks before the procedure. This will help to avoid any complications and can help to speed up the recovery process.
The inverted nipple correction procedure is performed purely for cosmetic purposes, to help improve your image and self-esteem.
How is the procedure performed?
Inverted nipple correction aims to have nipples that protrude just above the areola. Our surgeons can also ensure you maintain nipple sensitivity and the ability to breastfeed.
Inverted nipple correction is considered a day surgery, so you will be able to return home as soon as the effects of the anaesthetic wear off. The procedure will be performed under a local anaesthetic, so while you will be awake throughout the procedure, you will not be able to feel any discomfort or pain.
There are numerous different methods for nipple inversion surgery.
The dividing method involves gently pulling out the nipple. The fibres that are within the nipple are then spread out, which helps to ensure the nipple has an aesthetically pleasing appearance. The incision is then closed and has dressing applied. This method will ensure results are long-lasting, with less possibility that the nipple will invert. However, the downside to this method is that it is dividing the milk ducts. This means you will be unable to breastfeed after the procedure.
If you want to be able to breastfeed after inverted nipple surgery, you may wish to have the stretching method instead. Rather than dividing the milk ducts, they will be stretched. This ensures the milk ducts are no longer pulling on the nipple. This method ensures you will be able to breastfeed after the surgery. However, this method has a far higher likelihood that the inversion will reoccur, particularly if you have stage 2 or 3 inversion.
Before surgery, you will have a consultation with your surgeon, and you will be able to discuss which method is best for you.
Compared to other surgical procedures on the breasts and nipples, inversion nipple correction is relatively simple. Therefore, you will have minimal recovery time.
You will have bruising, swelling and pain in your breasts following the surgery. This is a completely normal side effect. You will be able to take medication to alleviate pain if necessary. It may be necessary to take time off work to help with your recovery.
The stitches will be removed between one to two weeks after your procedure. You will need to avoid vigorous physical activity for the first three weeks.
It is important to remember that if your nipple correction was done using the dividing method, you will be unable to breastfeed.
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What causes inverted nipples?
Nipple inversion can often be a condition that is present from when you are born. It is often caused by shortened milk ducts which pull the nipple inward, making it appear inverted.
Am I an ideal candidate for inverted nipple correction?
An ideal candidate are both men and women who may have inverted nipples. Centre for Surgery does not offer this procedure to people who are under 18 years old.
How long does inverted nipple surgery take?
The procedure will take around one hour to complete.
What is the recovery period like?
Recovery is relatively quick compared to other surgical procedures you can have on your breasts and nipples. You will notice bruising, swelling and may experience pain and discomfort after the procedure. You will need to avoid physical activity for around three weeks.
Will I have scars after the surgery?
Any scarring will be more noticeable straight after the procedure, however, this will fade over time.
What are the complications associated with inverted nipple correction?
Risks include bleeding, infection, noticeable scars or a mismatch in nipple size. In some cases, there may be breast numbness or loss of nipple sensitivity, which can last up to a year following surgery.
If the nipple becomes inverted again following surgery, you may need a second procedure.
Is the procedure painful?
You will be given an anaesthetic before the procedure, so you will not be able to feel any pain or discomfort.
Will I be able to breastfeed after inverted nipple correction?
This will depend on the method used during your procedure. This is one of the most important decisions and will be decided upon during the consultation with your surgeon.
If you undertake the dividing method, an incision will be made to stop the milk ducts pulling the nipple inward. This method has a high rate of success but will mean you will be unable to breastfeed afterwards. If you would like to undergo inverted nipple correction surgery but would still like to breastfeed, you can try the stretched method. This stretches the milk duct to release the nipple. This will allow you to still breastfeed. However, there is a higher likelihood that the nipple will return to being inverted in the future.
Do I need to have surgery for inverted nipples?
Inverted nipples do not cause any physical pain or any health issues. Having surgery is simply for aesthetic reasons.
Will I have to stay overnight?
Inverted nipple correction is generally performed under a local anaesthetic and is considered a day surgery. You will be able to return home as soon as the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off.
When can I return to work?
Most people will take at least two to three days off work, however, you may find you require a week off work.
When can I start exercising?
You will need to avoid any strenuous physical activity for at least two to three weeks. Activities such as running may cause friction against the nipple.
When can I start driving?
We suggest you wait two to three days to start driving again. However, if you had a general anaesthetic, you will need to wait at least one week.
You will not be able to drive home from the procedure and will need to have someone to drive you home or arrange for one of our chaperones to transport you home.
What should I do if my nipple suddenly becomes inverted?
In most cases, your nipples will be inverted from birth. However, sometimes the nipple can become inverted in adulthood. If this has happened to you, it is best to schedule an appointment with your GP, as there may be other underlying health issues that need to be addressed before you can have inverted nipple correction surgery.